The White House on Monday advised businesses to ignore a federal court’s temporary halt on the vaccine mandate, saying they should continue to abide by the mandate despite the legal ruling.
Last week, the White House announced a vaccine mandate run through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – or OSHA – which would levy fines of up to $14,000 per violation for companies with more than 100 employees.
It is set to take effect on January 4th.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, responding to a petition filed by the Texas Attorney General, businesses, and several other states, temporarily blocked the administration’s coronavirus mandate, suggesting it raises “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”
The White House wants businesses to ignore that court order.
The Biden administration was ordered by the federal court to respond to the group’s request for a permanent injunction on the vaccine mandate by Monday.
The administration claimed that pausing the requirements “would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day” if vaccinations are delayed.
That’s when the messaging out of the White House shifted from defense of the mandate to open defiance of the court.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that businesses should ignore the fact that a federal court has pumped the brakes on the vaccine mandate.
“People should not wait,” Jean-Pierre said. “They should continue to move forward and make sure they’re getting their workplace vaccinated.”
Surely the media will be outraged over President Biden ignoring a court order.
Former President Donald Trump was accused of ignoring a court order allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA, to continue.
“That’s insane. That’s a violation of the order,” said Bill Ong Hing, professor of law and Director of the Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic at the University of San Francisco, at the time.
Constitutional scholars, according to Slate back in 2017, argued that ignoring a court order “sets us up for a darker, dangerous turn” and could lead to a “constitutional crisis.”
Does this now apply to the current President?
David Vladeck, a professor of law at Georgetown University, tells CNBC there is a “high probability” that the case against the vaccine mandate will end up before the Supreme Court.
Seema Nanda, a lawyer for the Labor Department, says the Biden administration is “fully prepared to defend this standard in court.”
More Americans have died from COVID in 2021 than in all of 2020.
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